The Bears dominated on the ground, rushing for over 200 total yards in their 23-17 overtime victory, making up for the offense’s limitations throwing the football.
Mike Glennon dinked and dunked all afternoon but at least he only turned the ball over one time -- although the Steelers failed to capitalize on several opportunities late in the game.
After a quiet two weeks, the Bears rediscovered Jordan Howard, who despite playing with an injured shoulder, had plenty of room to run versus Pittsburgh’s defense. And rookie Tarik Cohen proved again in overtime that he has the rare ability to bust a long run on any given play.
The Bears had to hold on after squandering a 10-point lead, but Sunday’s upset was one of the most gratifying wins at Soldier Field in some time.
What it means: If Howard is healthy, it shows that he can still dominate. And Chicago’s defense is legitimate. But still, the Bears have to make a quarterback change. There is no threat of beating anybody downfield when Glennon is in the game. The victory is nice, but the Bears must re-evaluate the quarterback depth chart. Chicago probably can’t start Mitchell Trubisky in Week 4 because of the quick turnaround, but they need to examine the possibility of making the switch in Week 5.
What I liked: For the first time in seemingly forever, the Bears grabbed an early lead -- courtesy of Pittsburgh’s muffed punt -- and became the power running team they envisioned being this year. The Bears are not built to use the pass to get back into games. But with a lead, Chicago can fluster a defense with Howard and Cohen. The Bears' commitment to the run -- often by necessity -- was the best part of the offense. It was also nice to see rookie second-round pick Adam Shaheen used in the red zone. And the Bears' defense hung tough the whole day. The effort the group gave cannot be overstated.
What I didn’t like: All the silly mistakes. Pittsburgh looked awful for much of Sunday. The Bears should have buried them before halftime. But once again, the Bears were guilty of several game-changing mistakes: Connor Barth missing a field goal, Marcus Cooper stopping short of scoring, Howards’ fumble and Glennon’s fourth-quarter interception. The Bears simply cannot do that stuff and expect to consistently beat good teams. They won’t be so fortunate every week.
Fantasy fallout: Howard had a bounceback performance for fantasy owners -- 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Cohen is so explosive that he’s a smart play every week, with 102 all-purpose yards. Glennon is not a good play. To add insult to fantasy injury, Glennon’s lone touchdown pass was to the third-string tight end. The Bears don’t have anything at wide receiver, but you probably already knew that.
Welcome back: Guard Kyle Long and cornerback Prince Amukamara made their regular-season debuts in Week 3, and both seemed to play well. The line opened up huge holes for Howard -- until late in the game -- and Long’s strength is reaching the second level with his blocking. For his part, Amukamara broke up a couple of passes in coverage. Markus Wheaton also returned on Sunday, but he was unable to haul in a deep ball from Glennon in the second quarter.
What’s next? The Bears have a short week and visit Green Bay on Thursday night. Chicago won at Lambeau Field two years ago, but it’ll take another massive upset to knock off Aaron Rodgers, who’s lost to the Bears only four times in his career.